Soylent Review: Why It Can’t Replace Regular Food And What To Do Instead

Brian Bojan Dordevic
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Brian Decoded

President at Alpha Efficiency

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Let’s Start With Soylent Review And What It Really Is

If you are like me, you would wake up surprised that Soylent managed to raise 20 million dollars in funding. This is very surprising because this product is severely flawed from a nutritional and health point of view. As a productivity enthusiast, I pray that we come up with some form of a solution where I will stop wasting time on food, and be more efficient about taking in the meal replacements, that not only will be good, but in fact, better than actual food.

Soylent Review

While I think that the future is on its way, it is still yet to arrive in our homes and shakers! I was very eager to check out the ingredients of Soylent, and I was in for a huge disappointment. Soylent ingredients not only aren’t “perfect” as they are advertised, but they are flat out bad for you. You could as well eat at McDonalds. While in fact I could safely assume that you could go on eating Soylent for a period of time, and actually replacing the meals, long term effects would equal to the poor vegetarian diet.

It would lack building nutrients for your organism, and despite the fact that they claim you would intake recommended daily averages for the most vitamins and minerals. That is simply never going to be the case. You would start developing nutrient deficiencies that would lead to severe malfunction of your body, as well as development of hormonal imbalances.

The reason why this happens is due to the nature of supplementation. Supplement never gets fully absorbed in such a way that regular food does. Vitamins and minerals inside of Soylent are supplement based, and their efficiency and absorption is questionable.

Soylent ingredients not only aren’t “perfect” as they are advertised, but they are flat out bad for you. You could as well eat at McDonalds.

In order to explain why my Soylent enthusiasm deflated before it began, I need to go in the details about their nutrition facts, and closely examine the main ingredients. To go back and remind our readers that Soylent is not in fact a first company to create food replacement products.

3 Main Ingredients That Soylent Advertises, And Their Nutritional Irrelevance

How Soylent “Replaced” Carbohydrates

Your body burns energy based on the intake of carbohydrates, however not all carbohydrates are created equal. Some carbohydrates are dissolving slower, other act more quickly. But that is not their only differentiator. They also carry nutritive ingredients. The main component of Soylent is maltodextrin, and unfortunately maltodextrin is the type of carbohydrate that you don’t wish to see in your “smart food”. It is equally bad as sugar, and also makes you fat. I am certainly not a food authority, but this is a well known fact, read here why maltodextrin is bad for you.

Even dieting companies are loading their products with it, because it is dirt cheap and they don’t have to label it as sugar on their nutrition sheets. Fatty texture of malto dextrin can replace the fats, the good ones and the bad ones. Ultimately this ingredient is something that you want to avoid in your daily eating habits, let alone in your food replacement.

Let’s see what Maltodextrin actually is. It comes from treated grain starch, primarily corn or rice starch. It can also come from wheat and potatoes, but is less common in the U.S. Hydrolyze this starch by adding some enzymes and acids, filter and purify it some more and you get either Maltodextrin, or Corn Syrup Solids. The difference is that Maltodextrin is hydrolyzed to have less than 20% sugar content, whereas Corn Syrup Solids have more than 20%. It gives fat-like body to food products, increases their shelf life, and mixes quite well with other ingredients. It’s also cheap to make and produce. Though not a sugar, it still has a glycemic index of 130 by itself (table sugar is only 65).

Be cautious of the foods that have a long advertised shelf-life. They can’t possibly be good for you.

This is one of the reason why they advertise Soylent as a product that has a shelf life of 2 years. Anything that can survive that long, contains ingredients that are flat out bad for your body. Not something I would use in the advertising material of my product for sure. That raised a red flag right there.

How Would You Look With Protein Exclusively From Soylent

The second most important ingredient of any food replacement is protein. Proteins are building blocks of our body, and there are two types of protein: essential and non-essential ones. Essential proteins are the ones that we need to intake on daily basis, in order for our body to recreate the cells, tissue and muscles properly. Our body can produce non-essential proteins whereas, the essential proteins need to be taken in externally. Lacking the essentials protein means that we won’t have the necessary nutrients to run our bodies properly.

The main protein components according to its label are coming from Rice and Soy. Unfortunately for the consumers of Soylent, both of these nutrients don’t contain enough essential proteins, instead mostly the non-essential ones. There are numerous studies out there exploring the harmful effects of soy (the negative studies are only about the soy) Neither of these two ingredients can replace your protein long term, leaving the Soylent effectively a very poor meal replacement, because out of the two most important nutrients it fails to deliver on both counts.

Regarding Soy lecithin it has been found to be extremely estrogenic. That means it functions like estrogen in the body and can cause hormonal imbalances. Also, almost all soy variations are GMO based, which more or less makes them automatically bad for your body.

GMO foods have been linked to allergies, liver problems, infertility and sterility, breast cancer, thyroid disorders, kidney stones and more. One of the biggest problems I have since I moved to USA is to find a reasonable way to avoid this food at all costs, and I’ve been short out of options.

But don’t take my word for it, take a good look at these 170 scientific reasons to ditch Soy from your diet altogether.

What About Minerals And Vitamins?

And the third most important ingredient of Soylent would be the numerous Crappy Versions of Synthetic Vitamins that act on a basis of a supplement, and their results as a supplement simply don’t add up. Taking vitamins and minerals, even if it is within the recommended daily average, still leaves the consumers short on the recommended daily intake, as the body can’t efficiently dissolve the artificial substances properly. Therefore the efficiency of them being supplemented is greatly diminished. Furthermore, every other food and supplement nowadays contains artificially added vitamins since it is a cheap opportunity for the companies to enhance their product without providing any real and health value to the customers in order to be able to sell it for a higher price.

You would be better of if you just take your regular supplements, it would be cheaper, and most likely of higher quality.

What Soylent Users Have To Say?

Bathroom-related results will vary.

I don’t have anything to report on this front, but others have cited being excessively gassy upon integrating Soylent into their diets. This seems to be the exception, not the rule. (Quick aside: while I was eating solid food throughout the experiment, I understand that those who opt for a 100% Soylent diet will still defecate as if they are eating solid food. Soylent has the appropriate amount of dietary fiber for this.)

From Business Insider

Day 5 of Soylent only and everything is good except one, very noticeable thing. When I have, what I guess you could call a bowel movement, it’s like Soylent is made from ghost peppers. I cry, I sweat, I hear Johnny Cash singing “Burning Ring of Fire”. It’s horrible.

It burns. I mean.. bad. I hope this goes away soon because I don’t know how much longer I can take it. Vitamin A&D ointment has helped a bit, but not enough.

Am I alone in this?

From Soylent Forums

For their customers and investors to remain intact, allow me to highlight a few things.

Food isn’t a game, and people can die. I propose that — if Soylent doesn’t modify it’s claims — people will die!

From Tim Ferris 4 Hour Workweek Blog

What To Do Instead

Just because a product comes from San Francisco, doesn’t mean it is made in the future, also you get what you pay for. It is flat out embarrassing how many educated and intelligent individuals will fall for quick cash marketing schemes like this one, and also go out of their way to defend their choice. Soylent based nutrition is one more carefully orchestrated fad diet, served to people who don’t reserve critical thinking for one of the most critical choices in our lives: decision on what will we put in our bodies. In fact “The food” that is “based on science” has science as its #1 enemy.

Getting yourself organized to prepare good food, and establishing a good routine will create far greater benefits than supplementing your nutrition with highly questionable ingredients from a supplement company.

Save your hard earned dollars before buying this junk, and invest it in organic whole foods. Give your body only the best nutrients, because that is how an Alpha treats his body.

If you want to create a good meal substitute, I would definitively go with any generic tasty Whey Protein (check this helpful guide to buying protein powders) mixed with some fruits in the blender, possibly with some Almond milk, or the alternative. Whey protein has proved to be very useful addition to my nutrition, allowing me to sculpt a muscular visually attractive body on a budget. You can get pretty awesome vitamins, minerals and omega 3’s for the fraction of the price as well. And ultimately you will get much better nutrition value per dollar, than soylent can possibly bundle in a single package.

Saving a few hours a week is not worth if your overall performance is diminished. Being smart about productivity means looking at the absolute wins, not short term time gains. Getting yourself organized to prepare good food, and establishing a good routine will create far greater benefits than supplementing (or if you’re crazy, replacing) your nutrition with highly questionable ingredients from a supplement company.


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